Kids and MusicSince it’s been a while since I found and posted a serendipitous paragraph from one of our early childhood education books, I wanted to add one about using music with young children. It’s actually parts of two paragraphs, from a book I recommend, Hope Vestergaard’s Weaving the Literacy Web. The author gives lots of recommendations for ways that anyone working with young children can use stories, music, creative dramatics, and art to enrich their environments in ways that stimulate literacy development. All of us working with young children know that rhythms, rhymes, chants, and songs all help a young child understand how language works, as well as raising or quieting a child’s emotional state:

Infants and toddlers benefit greatly from exposure to music. Music and movement are important for children’s emotional well-being and physical development. Babies can be sensitive to environmental factors, so be sure that music choices (when to play it, what to play, how loud, etc.) take into consideration the children’s immediate needs….

Preschoolers love to create and listen to all kinds of music; they will physically respond to music by quickening their pace, etc., so teachers can use music to set the tone for classroom activities…

And for storytime activities, too. The best kind of music is the kind you sing and play live, so I’m adding another song to my list, “Illy Ally O.” What does Illy Ally O mean? Is it a poetic way of saying the ocean, or one of the seven seas? I don’t know, and I don’t really care, to tell the truth. But it’s a fun song to add to any story you read or tell about the ocean, ships, or pirates.

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